Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture was one of those everyday sculptures that you'd amazingly get to see right on the streets of midtown. However, the iconic art piece has been MIA from its usual corner of 55th Street and Sixth Avenue for the past few years, after the work was removed from its post for conservation in 2019. Now Rockefeller Center is bringing a little love—pun intended—back to New York with an installation of work from the American artist.
From Wednesday, September 13 through Tuesday, October 24, Rockefeller Center—in partnership with The Robert Indiana Legacy Initiative—will house artworks from Robert Indiana throughout its landmark campus, including the long-awaited return of his LOVE sculpture to Manhattan. The 12-foot-high polychrome aluminum public artwork, which was based on a series of frottage drawings that Indiana did for the Museum of Modern Art in the '60s, was first displayed in NYC in 1971 in Central Park and will now sit on Central Plaza during the Rockefeller takeover.
“It is an honor to partner with the team at Rockefeller Center to bring the works of Robert Indiana to the people of New York, where we know Bob always wanted his art to be integrated into the vibrant streetscapes and made accessible to the public. Bob’s legacy is woven into the history of this great city, and we are particularly proud to have LOVE return to the place that so energized him as a young artist. I hope these works will inspire and move New Yorkers and visitors to Rockefeller Center anew,” said Simon Salama-Caro, founder of The Robert Indiana Legacy Initiative.
Other sculptures will also be on display, including Indiana’s monumental sculptures ONE Through ZERO (The Ten Numbers)(1980-2001), eight standing eight-feet tall and made of Cor-ten steel, which "represent the cycle of human life from birth to death," a press release notes. Numbers and the connections between them are a recurring motif throughout Indiana's work: “Numbers fill my life. They fill my life even more than love. We are immersed in numbers from the moment we are born,” the artist once said.
The 193 flags surrounding The Rink at Rockefeller Center will also feature Indiana's artworks, specifically images from his Peace Paintings series, which were created in response to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. “I think of my peace paintings as one long poem, with each painting being a single stanza,” Indiana said back in 2003.